Saturday, August 12, 2006

Upgrades to Film Filter

The reason that there haven't been any posts lately is that I am working on a complete upgrade to Film Filter. New design, better features, the works. Hopefully that will be done within the next week. For the 5 people who actually visit this site on a regular basis, hold in there. When I'm done this blog will be 20 times better than it is now.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Fight Club in Real Life

My all time favorite movie is Fight Club, so I was fairly interested when I saw an article on USA today about real life fight clubs that have been springing up. How anyone who has seen the disturbing gore of that movie could actually want to try it out for real is beyond me, but apparently it's a spreading problem. Here's the link for the full article, and I've included some of the more interesting parts below. (All of the following paragraphs are the copyright of USA Today).

"The video shows two bare-knuckle brawlers brutally punching each other until one slumps, beaten, to the ground. The fight doesn't end there: The victor straddles the chest of his fallen opponent, firing rights and lefts into his face.

This is not a scene from the Brad Pitt movie Fight Club. Instead, it involves real teenagers in an underground video called Agg Townz Fights 2. Their ring: the grassy schoolyard of Seguin High School here. They're engaged in a disturbing extreme sport that has popped up across the nation: teen fight clubs."

"When the protagonist of author Chuck Palahniuk's cult 1996 novel Fight Club is asked by a client at a business meeting how he ended up with a black eye and a cheek swollen with stitches, he gives the all-purpose answer of kids everywhere: "I fell." [Note: This is incorrect, he actually tells a nurse in the hospital he fell."]

That fictional scene explains how many teens involved in real-life fight clubs are able to keep them under the radar — even when they come home from school or show up in class with cuts, bruises and swollen knuckles."

Fight clubs tap into a dark, nihilistic "part of the American psyche fascinated by the spectacle of blood and violence," says Orin Starn, cultural anthropology professor at Duke University who teaches about sports in American society. "This does seem a phenomenon of the Mortal Kombat, violent video game generation. The fight club offers the chance to bring those fantasies of violence and danger to life — and maybe have your 15 minutes of fame in an underground video."

Chuck Palahniuk, author of the cult 1996 novel Fight Club that was the basis for the 1999 movie, declined an interview request but said, "God bless these kids. I hope they're having a great time. I don't think they'd be doing it if they weren't having a great time."

The fictional fight club led by Pitt's character, Tyler Durden, in the 1999 movie was made up mostly of men in their twenties who made a sadistic and masochistic sport out of fighting one another.

Durden's main rule for his club became the movie's signature line and a slogan in popular culture: You do not talk about Fight Club.

Teen fight clubs in Arlington often and elsewhere follow that advice, and police and school authorities have been frustrated by the wall of silence that has surrounded the clubs. Not one of the hundreds of parents who viewed clips from Agg Townz 2 at several community and church meetings seemed to have a clue that fight clubs existed — or that their kids were involved, Hawthorne says. Among local teens, he says, the clubs have been common knowledge.

For those who are stupid enough to be considering joining one of these fight clubs, check out this video of what happens to our good friend angelface during his fight with the narrator:

Fight Club - Angelface Beating Clip

Little Miss Sunshine (2006) - Trailer

I really don't know anything about this movie besides that Steve Carell is in it. IMDB has made a special site for it, but even that site doesn't include many details:

LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE tells the story of the Hoovers, one of the most endearingly fractured families ever seen on motion picture screens. Together, the motley six-member family treks from Albuquerque to the Little Miss Sunshine pageant in Redondo Beach, California, to fulfill the deepest wish of 7-year-old Olive, an ordinary little girl with big dreams. Along the way the family must deal with crushed dreams, heartbreaks, and a broken-down VW bus, leading up to the surreal Little Miss Sunshine competition itself. On their travels through this bizarrely funny landscape, the Hoovers learn to trust and support each other along the path of life, no matter what the challenge.

It still looks like it could be a good quirky comedy, and hopefully I'll get out and see it and post a review. Strange that its already out and I haven't seen any commercials for it at all, but maybe it'll be one of those good unknown comedies.

World Trade Center (2006) - Trailer

I feel like it's way to early to be making this movie. I thought it was wrong to make United 93, but this crosses the line. I don't understand why the producers think that it's ok to turn a horrible tragedy into entertainment. Maybe if this movie was made 20 years from now it would be different. Munich was alright because the event in question happened decades ago; the memories are less poignant. But I feel like this is too soon. Leave a comment with your opinion.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Beerfest (2006) - Trailer

Greatest. Movie. Ever. That's all I have to say.

King Kong (2006) - Review

King Kong is, quite aptly put, a monster of a movie. It topped Titanic as the most expensive movie ever produced, and the running time comes in at just over three hours. I was worried that the long running time would destroy any film's entertaining scenes (The Deer Hunter anyone?), but I'm happy to report that King Kong was so good that I didn't even notice the excessive length. This even includes the exposition of the film, and I usually think of character set-up as tedious.

Although everyone knows the story, I'll do a quick summary anyways. An self-fufilling movie producer (Jack Black) leads a crew of sailors and actors to an uncharted island in the middle of the ocean in a last ditch effort to produce a blockbuster hit. Unpon setting foot on Skull Island, the leading actress Ann Darrow is taken prisoner by the natives to be sacrificed to Kong. See clip below:

Ann Darrow Sacrifice Clip

A team of rescuers, lead by her lover, Jack Driscoll, tracks her across the island, and eventually is able to save her. In the process Kong is captured and taken back to New York to be displayed as part of a show. By this time, the gorilla has fallen in love with Ann, however, and goes on a rampage throughout the city to find her.

I was totally taken away by King Kong. I thought that Peter Jackson did an excellent job of making the film believeable. As strange as it sounds, Kong and Ann were a good onscreen couple. I thought that Andy Serkis (Kong) actually did a better acting job than Watts in this relationship. You could tell that Kong cared for Darrow without it being over the top, while I thought that Naomi Watts overplayed her role and was over dramatic. I also thought that the "connection" between Darrow and Kong was much stronger that between Darrow and Driscoll, which is strange since they were supposed to be lovers.

Jack Black also did a good job of portraying film director Carl Denham. At he onset of the film you really root for him, but by the ending you see him as a shallow self serving person who cares more about making money than he does the lives of his good friends.

The monsters in the film were creative, and actually fairly scary. The one part that bothered me in the film was that if it were in real life, then the T-rex would have attacked Kong instead of fighting for a small morsal like Darrow, but then again, its only a movie. To see some of the insects in the film watch the clip below:

Bug Clip

I would have liked to have compared the original 1933 version of King Kong with Peter Jackson's film, but I saw the original many years ago, so I don't remember it very clearly. Obviously the plot of the two movies are fairly similar (expedition to undiscovered island, Kong steals girl, Kong falls in love with girl, Kong fights on the top of the Empire State building, etc.), but perhaps I'll rent the original again and put up another post comparing the smaller details.

Film Filter Rating: 9.5 / 10

Bonus Clip - Finale Lead-In

Kong is pursued by the army as he runs through New York with Ann in his hand. This scene leads into the Empire State building finale.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Spiderman III (2007) - Teaser

As much as I hate to admit it, I got pretty excited when I saw this teaser. As you can see from the teaser Spiderman is finally donning his black suit (for the initiated its not so much a suit as a living alien creature), which I think looks pretty slick. The best part is, from what I've read, that one of the villians that Spiderman is going to be facing off against is Venom. The only thing that could make this film better is an appearance from Carnage, but I guess that'll have to wait for Spiderman IV.

Visit the official Spiderman III website.

Miami Vice (2006) - Trailer

I never saw the original Miami Vice television show, but just from looking at the trailer I can say that the film is probably going to be much edgier and violent than whatever was on T.V.

The way I see it this film can go in two directions: It's either going to be another brainless summer movie that everyone forgets about a few years from now, or it'll actually be a well done action film. My intuition says summer movie, but I'll have to wait until I see it.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Crank (2006) - Trailer

Check out the trailer for the new action movie Crank:

The movie looks like it will be an above average action-flick, and I like the premise. I'll be on the lookout for more information on the movie.

By the way, if anyone knows what the name of the song played in the last minute or so is, then please leave a comment.

Click Here for the IMDB site.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Memento (2000) - Review

Go out and rent this movie today. It's like nothing you've ever seen before, and its really, really good.

Memento follows Leonard, the main character, as he tries to find and punish the man who raped and murdered his wife. This is very difficult for Lenny to do, however, because he was also attacked during his wife's assault, and suffered permanent brain damage. Due to his injury, Leonard cannot form new memories; he can remember everything up to the incident, but nothing afterwards. If you tell him something, three minutes later he will have forgotten it.

To combat this problem, Leonard carries a camera and photographs important people and places in his life. He writes himself notes to remind himself to do things, while always being on the lookout for someone to write a false note to put him off the trail of the killer. Vital information he tatoos on his body.

The interesting feature of this movie, as well as the most entertaining part, is that the movie is shown in backwards chronological order to simulate Lenny's disorder. In other words, you see the end of the movie first. While one might think that this would ruin any suspense in the film, the complete opposite is true. The magic of memento is that you are sure you know what happens (after all you've already seen the ending), but as the movie goes on you realize that everything that you assume to be true is wrong.

The backwards order of the film is also good because it makes repeat viewings as entertaining as the first time. Every time you watch Memento you see something new; another piece falls into place. The events in Memento are also up to interpretation, which means that you can spend hours arguing with your friends over what really just happened. This movie is a new classic and everyone should see it.

Film Filter Rating: 9.5 / 10

Make sure to check out the official Memento Flash site. Word to the wise, though, it's better to see the movie and then go to the site. If you haven't seen the film, it will mostly be an assortment of pictures and sound clips that won't make any sense to you. If you've seen the film before, then there are some interesting bits that tie in with the movie.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Independent Film - Brian Nelligan

Check out these shorts from Independent filmmaker Brian Nelligan. Drano is the strangely humorous story of someone who wants to end their life, but just can't seem to do it. Mary's Car Key's is about a woman who needs to flee the country after a murder, but has a little trouble with her keys. The Rise and Fall of Dustin Voyeur, my favorite short out of the three, is the story of an awkward college student who becomes a local celebrity, only to end up laying bloody on the ground. If you like what you see, make sure to order a copy of Brian's DVD from his myspace:

Click Here to see Drano (1:21) and Mary's Car Key's (3:57).

Click Here to see The Rise and Fall of Dustin Voyeur (10:55). Scroll down the page until you reach Thursday, February 16, 2006.

Use of the F-word

My friend sent me this page on wikipedia (Click Here for full article). Its a list of the movies that most use the F-word. I've included the first twenty-five entries on this page for you:

On a side note, the veracity of these numbers are in question, so check them out for yourself. If you find a discrepancy, leave a comment with the real numbers.


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Spoiler Warning

The articles on this blog may give away scenes and endings of movies.